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Domestic violence is an issue often overlooked in the muslim community. It is an issue considered taboo in the eyes of many, further resulting in an avoidance of both suggesting and listening to ways to combat it.
Muslim Family Services feels strongly about domestic violence and aims to promote healthy homes in whatever way possible. On March 19, 2016, the non-profit organization held a workshop titled “Building Safe Families - Reducing Domestic Violence in our Homes” at Masjid as-Salam in Dearborn. Sr. Tahira Khald MSW, our head counselor, was the main presenter and speaker. She focused on the definition of domestic violence to help people understand that they may be receiving abuse without even realizing it. She also shared the steps that should be taken if one finds themself to be a victim of domestic violence. Lastly, she told her audience about the myths associated with domestic violence. Some of these myths included:
Women in abusive relationships can leave if they want to.
Domestic violence only occurs in poor, urban areas.
Battering is caused by drugs and alcohol.
Husbands and wives are equally violent.
Once a batterer, always a batterer.
The information Sr. Tahira shared was vital for all audience members to have knowledge of, whether they have personally been in an abusive relationship or not. If we know anyone who is being abused by their spouse, we should do whatever we can to help them regain control of their lives.
“And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?” Qur’an | 4:75
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On March 6, 2016 Muslim Family Services hosted its 9th Annual Fundraising Dinner at Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan. Over 300 guests were present to celebrate the previous year’s accomplishments.
The keynote speaker and fundraiser was Shaykh Abdalla Idris Ali, a renowned public speaker and the Secretary General of ISNA Canada. Our emcee for the night was community gem Br. Saleem Khalid, a humanitarian and the director of the Muslim Enrichment Program (MEP).
The event began with a beautiful Qur’an recitation led by Nadeem Ghulam, followed by a video presentation sharing the extensive goals and aims of Muslim Family Services as a division of ICNA Relief. Shortly after, Br. Yousaf led a PowerPoint presentation, showing guests what the non-profit organization has accomplished in the past year. It touched on the work achieved for the food pantry, which has fed thousands of families in the metro Detroit area, as well as the distribution of truck loads of bottled water to residents of Flint. Additionally, guests learned about the financial support MFS offers to individuals who need assistance with rent, utility bills, financial support, or other hardships. Burial services are sponsored for families who fall under the poverty line. The non-profit also helps Muslim families become licensed foster parents in the state of Michigan. In addition to these programs, MFS also organizes seasonal programs, such as the Sponser-a-Family Ramadan project, the Eid Drive (for toys), a zaakat distribution during Ramadan, the Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway, multiple carnivals, and the free Annual Health Fair.
The MFS team also shared the progress of the Sakinah House, while introducing a Sakinah House alumna, Yasmin Bey, who was struggling to find a place to stay after graduating from the University of Michigan with two masters degrees. She found success and solace at the Sakinah House and shared her appreciation for the shelter home with guests.
In addition, MFS shared its newest initiative for Syrian refugees. The organization has reserved the entire first floor of Norman Towers in Monroe for refugee families and has also renovated the third floor of Sakinah House to accommodate 11 bedrooms for them.
Muslim Family Services raised over $140,000 in one night. This amount will be distributed to assist the following areas: emergency services, counseling, education, foster parenting, funeral services, and the Sakinah House.
Shaykh Abdalla Idris was a huge contributor to the success of this fundraiser. His sincere appreciation for the initiatives that MFS facilitates allowed him to develop a keen understanding of the organization’s goals. His charisma and eloquence encouraged guests to show their support and contribute as much they could.
Alhamdulilah, the event was a successful one. Guests were served a delicious meal of various items while learning about MFS, its previous achievements, and future goals. An award was given to employee Br. Muhammad and also to the Tawheed Center for all their help and assistance. The need for financial assistance was well understood – MFS simply cannot continue to serve those in need without the help of our supporters. Thank you for your continuous support.
In addition, MFS would like to extend a special thanks to Shaykh Abdalla Idris Ali, Br. Saleem Khalid, and Sr. Khadega Mohammed for helping inform the masses and being a beautiful form of intellectual entertainment for our guests. May Allah (SWT) reward you always, and give you good in this world and the Next. Ameen.
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Our very special Volunteer, Sabah Muktar, was given the grand opportunity to introduce President Obama yesterday at the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) / Al-Rahmah School. Watch her introduction and President Obama's speech here.
ICNA Relief's Maryland Outreach Coordinator Br. Saad Malik was among the core organizers of the President's #MosqueVisit, about which he said: "If I could sum up this experience in one word: phenomenal. President Obama's historic visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore validates the efforts and hard work Muslim Americans are doing here nationwide and in their communities. His praise for the Baltimore, Maryland Muslim Community's local relief efforts, in which ICNA Relief played a leading role, sheds light to the excellent opportunities we have as Muslim Americans to propagate the true meaning of Islam."
"Thank you for serving your community. Thank you for lifting up the lives of your neighbors, and for helping keep us strong and united as one American family. We are grateful for that," said President Obama as he spoke at the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Feb. 3rd, 2016.
ICNA Relief collaborated with the Islamic Society of Baltimore last May to provide aid to the local community in need following the unrest caused by Freddie Gray's death.
ICNA Relief's former board chairman Br. Mohsin Ansari led aid efforts on the ground then and was invited at the Islamic Society of Baltimore yesterday to hear the president speak.